6th October 2012
Bertolt Brecht’s play The Mother is freely adapted from Gorky’s world-famous novel of the same name. Brecht tells the story of a working-class mother who is drawn into the struggle for a Bolshevik revolution; in the character of Pelagea Vlassova, the mother of the title, Brecht draws a richly human figure who emerges as the single entirely positive major hero in all of Brecht’s dramatic works.
The Mother was written in the style of a Lehrstück (“play for learning”), although it requires professional actors. The Play’s dramaturgy is anti-metaphysical, materialistic and n o n -Ar i s t o t e l i a n . Thus it declines to assist the spectator in surrendering himself to empathy in the unthinking fashion of the Aristotelian dramaturgy; and it relates to certain psychic effects, as for instance catharsis, in an essentially different manner. In the same way as it refuses to tacitly hand over its heroes to the world as though to an inalterable destiny, it also has no intention of handing over the spectator to a “suggestive” theatre experience. Rather its concern is to teach the spectator a most definitely practical conduct that is intended to
change the world, and for this reason he must be afforded a fundamentally different attitude in the theatre from that to which he is habituated.
48th Maribor Theatre Festival